Freakonomics co-author Stephen J. Dubner uncovers the hidden side of everything. Why is it safer to fly in an airplane than drive a car? How do we decide whom to marry? Why is the media so full of bad news? Also: things you never knew you wanted to know about wolves, bananas, pollution, search engines, and the quirks of human behavior. Join the Freakonomics Radio Plus membership program for weekly member-only episodes of Freakonomics Radio. You’ll also get every show in our network without ads. To sign up, visit our show page on Apple Podcasts or go to freakonomics.com/plus.
566. Why Is It So Hard (and Expensive) to Build Anything in America?
Most industries have become more productive over time. But not construction! We identify the causes — and possible solutions. (Can you say ... “prefab”?) RESOURCES:"The Strange and Awful Path of Productivity in the US Construction Sector," by Austan Goolsbee and Chad Syverson (BFI Working Paper, 2023)."Infrastructure
Extra: Jason Kelce Hates to Lose
Pro footballer and star podcaster Jason Kelce is ubiquitous right now (almost as ubiquitous as his brother and co-host Travis, who's been in the limelight for his relationship with Taylor Swift). After you hear this wide-ranging interview, you might want even more Kelce in your life. RESOURCES:“N.F.L. Player Team Re
565. Are Private Equity Firms Plundering the U.S. Economy?
They say they make companies more efficient through savvy management. Critics say they bend the rules to enrich themselves at the expense of consumers and employees. Can they both be right? (Probably not.) RESOURCES:Plunder: Private Equity's Plan to Pillage America, by Brendan Ballou (2023).Two and Twenty: How the Ma
480. How Much Does Discrimination Hurt the Economy? (Replay)
Evidence from Nazi Germany and 1940’s America (and pretty much everywhere else) shows that discrimination is incredibly costly — to the victims, of course, but also the perpetrators. One modern solution is to invoke a diversity mandate. But new research shows that’s not necessarily the answer. RESOURCES:"Discriminati
564. How to Succeed at Failing, Part 4: Extreme Resiliency
Everyone makes mistakes. How do you learn from them? Lessons from the classroom, the Air Force, and the world’s deadliest infectious disease. RESOURCES:Right Kind of Wrong: The Science of Failing Well, by Amy Edmondson (2023)."You Think Failure Is Hard? So Is Learning From It," by Lauren Eskreis-Winkler and Ayelet Fi
563. How to Succeed at Failing, Part 3: Grit vs. Quit
Giving up can be painful. That's why we need to talk about it. Today: stories about glitchy apps, leaky paint cans, broken sculptures — and a quest for the perfect bowl of ramen. RESOURCES"Data Snapshot: Tenure and Contingency in US Higher Education," by Glenn Colby (American Association of University Professors, 20